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I tried Gordon Ramsay's classic American burger and loved almost everything about the easy recipe

INSIDER logoINSIDER 7/4/2021 insider@insider.com (Rachel Askinasi)
a close up of food: Insider © Insider Insider Gordon Ramsay holding a sandwich: Gordon Ramsay is a burger maven. Amy Sussman/Getty Images and Rachel Askinasi © Amy Sussman/Getty Images and Rachel Askinasi Gordon Ramsay is a burger maven. Amy Sussman/Getty Images and Rachel Askinasi
  • I made Gordon Ramsay's classic American burger recipe.
  • The burger was topped with cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions.
  • It was delicious, but the placement of bib lettuce made the patty slide off the bun.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Gordon Ramsay has built himself up to be an authority on burgers. The celebrity chef and TV personality owns upscale burger bars and even has a $106 Wagyu burger listed on the menu at his restaurant inside London's Harrods department store.

On a recent TV special that aired on Fox, "Gordon Ramsay's American Road Trip," Ramsay tried a $777 burger at Las Vegas' Burger Brasserie and showed viewers how to make his classic American burger.

The "MasterChef" judge walked viewers through his techniques and recipe, so after watching (and admittedly rewatching) I felt well-equipped to make it myself.

a box filled with different types of food: Caramelized onions at each stage of cooking. Cook time will depend on serving size. Rachel Askinasi/Insider © Rachel Askinasi/Insider Caramelized onions at each stage of cooking. Cook time will depend on serving size. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

First, I caramelized onions and cooked the bacon

Onions take a very long time to achieve peak caramelization. So I kicked off this culinary adventure by grabbing my onion goggles - yes, I cook every day, and I do use onion goggles a lot of the time - and slicing into a large Vidalia onion.

I was intentional in my cutting to make sure I got long, 1/4-inch thick ribbons of the allium to work with.

Then, I added them to a pan on low heat with butter and let them sweat it out. After about seven minutes on low, I added enough balsamic vinegar to change the color of the onions.

Using a wooden spatula, I pushed the onions around every couple of minutes, added some more balsamic, and pushed again, repeating until they became a thick, glossy, fragrant pile.

I used another skillet to cook one slice of smoked bacon. After testing out eight different ways to cook bacon, I found that starting it on a cold skillet makes for a great in-sandwich texture.

I set both the bacon slice and the caramelized onions aside for later.

a bowl of food and a cup of coffee: Ramsay's sauce calls for four ingredients. Rachel Askinasi/Insider © Rachel Askinasi/Insider Ramsay's sauce calls for four ingredients. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Then it was time to make Ramsay's special sauce

Following the chef's lead, I combined mayonnaise, a "French mustard" (I used Dijon), Tabasco sauce, and another mustard with whole seeds (I used stone-ground).

The spicy-mayo condiment was tangy with a flavorful heat factor. The whole-seed mustard also brought some texture to the finished burger.

After toasting my sesame-seed bun, I covered the top half with my sauce and piled bib lettuce, a thin slice of tomato, and the caramelized onions onto the bottom half. All that was missing was my beautiful protein.

a piece of meat on a cutting board: I followed Ramsay's instructions for how to build the burger. Rachel Askinasi/Insider © Rachel Askinasi/Insider I followed Ramsay's instructions for how to build the burger. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I made a basic patty from scratch, cooked it, and built my burger

Ramsay didn't specify a patty-making technique for this particular recipe, so I chose to go with a simple list of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and grass-fed ground beef.

I then used my hands to combine the seasonings with beef and form a patty.

Even though I made my patty a little too big - it turned out more like a large meatball than the one that Ramsay showed in his recipe - it still ended up tasting juicy and magnificent in the end.

All that was left was to cook the burger. As Ramsay said on the show: "You have to sear it!" - so I made sure my pan was extremely hot before dropping the patty on it. After cooking it for just a couple of minutes on each side, I laid a single slice of sharp cheddar cheese on top and let it fully enrobe the patty.

Once the cheese melted, I placed the patty on its rightful throne atop the base of other ingredients and added the bacon I had cooked earlier.

a cut in half sandwich sitting on top of a table: it was delicious, but I would recommend swapping the lettuce. Rachel Askinasi/Insider © Rachel Askinasi/Insider it was delicious, but I would recommend swapping the lettuce. Rachel Askinasi/Insider

The burger was delicious, but the lettuce placement ruined my eating experience

Following Ramsay's strict instructions to get a good sear, I was able to achieve a nice, dark, flavorful crust around the patty, which sealed in all the meat's juices. It was flavorful on its own, but the sweetness of the onions, smokiness of the bacon, and zing of the sauce exploded all over my palate - I must say, I was impressed with myself.

I just had one major issue with this recipe: the lettuce.

Ramsay called for bib lettuce. I usually love a nice, buttery, large-leaf green, but in this instance, I think it should have either been chopped or placed somewhere else.

The "Hell's Kitchen" host placed the leafy green directly on top of the bottom bun, so I did the same. Rather than providing a useful bed for keeping the bun from getting soggy, the lettuce got wet, and the burger ultimately slid right off. It was nearly impossible to keep this stack together.

When I make this again - which I will definitely be doing - I'll likely use shredded lettuce to fix the issue.

You can watch Ramsay's burger-off here.

Warning: The below video contains explicit language.

Replay Video
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